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Atheists to start 1-800 hotline for doubters
The group Recovering from Religion plans to start a helpline for people struggling with religious doubts.
June 4th, 2013
03:08 PM ET

Atheists to start 1-800 hotline for doubters

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) – Who can people call when religious doubts arise, but they're afraid to talk to their faith leaders or families?

A group that helps people "recover" from religion says it's ready to pick up the phone.

Recovering from Religion, which has about 40 support groups in the U.S. and Britain, plans to launch a hotline that will offer doubters an anonymous place to ask difficult questions and find communities of like-minded nonbelievers.

The group plans to staff the help line 24 hours a day and is modeling it after services like suicide prevention hotlines.

Sarah Morehead, executive director of Recovering from Religion, told CNN that the mission is to help people, not convert them to atheism.

“A lot of the times they just need someone to talk to," Morehead said.

The 1-800 number has yet to be named. Recovering from Religion is trying to raise $30,000 by June 30 to fund "The Hotline Project" with up to 40 counselors.

Ideally, the help line would be live by the holiday season, said Morehead, which is often a difficult time for people struggling with religious doubts.

Photos: Famous atheists and their beliefs

The idea for the hotline sprang up after calls came in to the Recovering from Religion phone line from people who were questioning their faith and needed to talk to someone. Morehead said she gets a few calls every day and hundreds of e-mails a month from people seeking counseling.

From there, she said, it seemed a hotline that provided a permanent, anonymous place to talk to someone was the best option.

"Coming out" as a nonbeliever - or even a doubter - can often be extremely difficult, Morehead and others say. In addition to the existential worries, budding nonbelievers run the risk of alienating family and friends.

The help line’s volunteer counselors will be trained to not engage in religious debate, Morehead said. Instead, they will try to give callers “practical, action-oriented solutions.”

When someone first calls the hotline, the counselor will start by simply asking the caller to talk about his or her personal story, said Morehead.

Later, the counselor and the caller might work on an action plan. The caller's goals may concern formally leaving religion altogether, but Morehead said that counselors will also offer advice on finding a new faith or connecting with a local community of nonbelievers.

Some blogs have questioned the hotline, however, calling it a ploy to increase the number of atheists in America.

Headlines like “New 1-800 Number Funded By Liberals To Convert Christians to Atheists,” for example, have cropped up at a number of conservative blogs.

Morehead said her critics fail to grasp the point of Recovering from Religion.

“Most of the people who contact us are working their way towards disbelief, so of course we are very equipped to handle that,” Morehead said. “That is not the goal, though, or the job of the facilitators.”

Photos: 'Born-again' celebrities

This hotline is not completely unique in the world of religious "nones" – people who either don’t believe in God or don’t affiliate with any religious beliefs. Atheists have long discussed disbelief in the comfort of online anonymity.

“We have seen how important the Internet is, especially young people questioning their faith, and this provides them with another resource with a different focus,” said Jesse Galef, communications director for the Secular Student Alliance. “For people who want more guidance, I think this resource will be very valuable.”

Services that help religious doubters have thrived recently.

The Clergy Project, an online community for preachers who no longer believe in God, has grown from 52 to nearly 500 people since its founding in 2011, said Teresa MacBain, the former executive director of the project.

MacBain, a former pastor who converted to atheism, called the help line "another way for people to contact someone anonymously and discuss the struggles they are having for their beliefs.”

“If this project had been around when I found the Clergy Project, I would have used it.”

MacBain said she plans to get training as one of the counselors and hopes to be answering calls when the service launches.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • United States

soundoff (3,878 Responses)
  1. Trollsalot

    To "I'm not a Goper", there's a difference between unnecessary controversy and flat out lying to the American Public. The WMD scandal in iraq comes to mind.

    June 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Who, besides the G.W.Bush administration of more than 10 years ago is "flat out lying to the American public"?

      What's your point?

      June 4, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
  2. Peter Bishop

    The atheists have a right to their own religion too.

    June 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Chobrut

      Our religion is science. We put our faith in people.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • Dave

      Atheists are fake scientists in the making...

      June 4, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
  3. Stephen Hawking is an Idiot!!!!

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPO3meEuU24&w=640&h=360]

    June 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Oh noes!

      A wanna-be Xtian "band" proves God. That settles it then.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Hey

      They actually have a couple of chords in that song – don't knock it.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • science

      Hey is an..........is an Idiot!!!!

      The best time is when the creationists come knocking at my door..................a blast to say the least............Just

      Take out the stony irons that is and whatchem run for the hills !

      June 4, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • Science

      GOOD NEWS.....is an Idiot!!!!.........no bible needed as it gets suck into the black holes !

      Oldest Primate Fossil Skeleton Found In China

      Seth Borenstein, Associated Press | Jun. 5, 2013, 2:14 PM

      Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/oldest-primate-fossil-skeleton-found-in-china-2013-6#ixzz2VS35T5QS

      Black Holes Abundant Among the Earliest Stars

      June 5, 2013 — By comparing infrared and X-ray background signals across the same stretch of sky, an international team of astronomers has discovered evidence of a significant number of black holes that accompanied the first stars in the universe.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605190711.htm

      Join your heroes. Be one yourself.

      Together, you and DC Entertainment have raised more than $2 million. This fight can be won. Here’s how.

      http://www.wecanbeheroes.org/

      June 6, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  4. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    Atheism is foundation of hinduism, denial of truth absolute GOD and racism , want to be a hindu, denier of truth absolute, call the number.

    June 4, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • NESTLE FOUNDATION OF OVALT INE

      Islambot hurts head on words atheism and hinduism. Can't take it. Pieces scatter.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • Common Sense Sam

      Hulk smash!

      June 4, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      One day Islamabot will explain how exactly a polytheistic religion is atheistic.

      June 6, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  5. DoesItReallyMatter

    Does your conversion to atheism really matter after a 100 years? By then all those who read this article are probably dead already. If there is nothing after death, if a soul is not immortal, and if death is the end, then nothing really matter. All the good deeds you have done, the contributions you have made to the humanity, or the bad things you wish no one will ever find out will be simply vanished away after your death. You may say, "History will be the judge." I will ask,"What good about the judgement if you are not there to be judged?" So does it really matter if you convert to atheist? I will say it does matter if you feel good after the conversion. Does it really matter after 100 years? If atheism is right(there is no real way to prove it unless you realize there is nothing after you die), whether you convert to atheism doesn't really matter.

    Can you prove that there is nothing after death?

    June 4, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Yes, we can prove exactly what is after death. Just go to the body farm and watch what happens to a corpse.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Can you prove there is something after death? Can you prove a soul exists?
      I simply see no reason to believe in something there is no evidence to support.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Lou

      "Can you prove that there is nothing after death?"

      No, but nor did I claim I can. However, there was "nothing" before I was born, and there's no reason to assume there's something after I die.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Troglodytes Entertaining All

      "Can you prove that there is nothing after death?"

      That's an illogical question... Since religious people are the ones making the assertion that there IS life after death, the burden of proof lies with you... Remember, assertions made without proof require no proof to deny... Look up 'Russell's Teapot' for a more detailed analysis of your flawed logic.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • school

      You are a soul.

      You have a body.

      The body dies.

      The soul lives on.

      Death is not the final outcome.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • DoesItReallyMatter

      I can't prove that a soul is immortal. Neither can you prove that it is not. By looking at dead body can only prove that the body is dead. What about the soul? Also if you are right, it there is nothing after death, it doesn't really matter what we believe right now.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • stardust

      no evidence for a "soul", that's simply more religious mumbo jumbo

      June 4, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • James PDX

      The idea of life after death was created by the weak minded who couldn't cope with death. I don't need to prove this. I have faith – in the reason that led me to this conclusion.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • Science

      Sole is on bottom of shoe

      June 4, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • G to the T

      Sick of hearing this. NO ONE CONVERTS TO ATHEISM. If anything, they DECONVERT.

      June 6, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
  6. Dyslexic doG

    you’ll find that most (ex-Christian) atheists don’t believe for one or more of the following reasons:

    The concept of an immortal being makes no sense to us.

    The concept of an all-powerful being makes no sense to us.

    The concept of an all-knowing being makes no sense to us.

    Throwing the three together into one being cubes its implausibility!!!

    We tend to have a good working knowledge of the age, size and history of the Universe. The idea that a being would create the entire thing – with 400,000,000,000 galaxies, EACH with 100,000,000,000 stars and even more planets, then sit back and wait 13,720,000,000 years for human beings to evolve on one planet so he could “love them” and send his son to Earth to talk to a nomadic group of Jews about sheep and goats in Iron Age Palestine (while ignoring the rest of the 200 million people then alive) makes no sense to us. Did God make the Jews or did the Jews make God?

    The answers usually proffered for what we see as basic logical flaws in Christianity – “you have been blinded by your lack of faith” “God moves in mysterious ways” “God is outside the Universe” or “our minds are too small to understand the greatness of God” are never satisfying to us. We see a retreat to mysticism as the first refuge of the cornered fool.

    The common argument, “well, what caused the Big Bang?” with the implication that, because we have only theories and no iron clad explanation for the Big Bang yet, [the Christian] god must have caused it – does not make sense to us. “I don’t know” does not equal “god” to us, much less the Judeo-Christian god. We feel the answers to such a question are much more likely to be found in Einstein’s equations, quantum physics, large particle accelerators and radio telescopes than in Genesis Chapters 1 through 20. We’re crazy aren’t we?

    We do not see miracles in things like tornadoes missing a certain trailer in a trailer park, cancer going into remission or Tim Tebow winning a football game.

    We understand that Christianity is one of many, many religions in the World, and we don’t think that we were lucky enough to have been born in the one part of the World that “got it right”. Likewise, we know how all faiths evolve, morph and change over time and do not think we were lucky enough to have been born in the one generation that “got it right.”

    We tend to have a basic knowledge of history and know that there is nothing magical or special about the supposed history of the Jews, gospels, letters, apocalyptic story (Revelations) and other materials that found their way into the Bible, in that they are largely indistinguishable from the other mythology and religious writings of the pre Dark Ages Mediterranean.

    Human beings are terrified of their own deaths and we see the various religious beliefs that try to “wish it away,” such as reincarnation, living happily ever after in Heaven with Jesus, having your own Mormon planet etc. as nothing more than childish stories for the more naïve, timid minds among us.

    We do not see morality as predicated upon a belief in the supernatural. We accept that one can be moral without believing in the supernatural and that doing so is no guaranty that one will conform to the norms of society that people call “morality”.

    “You can’t prove God doesn’t exist” is not a convincing argument to us, or even a relevant point, as in inability to disprove something is a far cry from it being true. We cannot prove that the Hindu gods Shiva or Vishnu do not exist either, nor Santa Claus for that matter, but that is hardly a reason to believe in them, or even evidence for their existence. It is impossible to prove a negative in this context.

    When one looks at the various Christian beliefs that were once firmly believed – Adam and Eve, Noah’s flood, people living to be 700 or 900 years old, the Red Sea splitting, water turning into wine, a talking snake, a man living in a whale’s belly, people rising from the dead, Jesus driving demons out of people and into pigs – but which are now acknowledged by most thinking people to be mere mythology, it is pretty hard to give a lot of credibility to what’s left.

    It is hard not to consider Christianity as based on circular reasoning. Most Christians believe in God because the Bible says so, then turn around and say they believe the Bible because it is the word of God. To draw an analogy, “I believe Mao Zedong was a great man because The Little Red Book says so, and the reason I believe The Little Red Book is that it was written by Mao Zedong, who was a great man.” Do you even have the slightest idea of how your Bible was compiled over the centuries or who decided what to include and what to exclude and on what grounds? Can you even name one of hundred plus authors who contributed to it? One of the many people who decided what got in and what didn’t?

    To be bluntly honest, the more one comes to understand mother nature, the less reason there is to believe in a god and the more one understands human nature, the more one sees why so many of us still do.

    So, before you next proudly proclaim that you know the secrets to life, death, the origins of life on Earth and the origins of the Universe, simply because your parents or priest taught you some comforting stories from late Bronze Age Palestine as a child, you might like to reflect upon the overwhelming enormity of the claims you are about to make and the complete paucity of evidence that underwrites those claims.

    Or, put another way, stop cuddling your Bible and wallowing in your ignorance and face the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death with a bit of emotional and intellectual courage. If you want to spend your entire life groveling before and supplicating yourself to something, at least make it something that exists.

    June 4, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
  7. Matthew

    Since they haven't named the number yet, I have a suggestion: 1-800-BIG-FOOL

    June 4, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • Troglodytes Entertaining All

      That's a comment on about the same intelligence level as a belief in talking snakes...

      June 4, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      And you call what-1-800-BUY-BULL??

      June 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • stardust

      silly believers with their talking snakes, it's all very amusing 🙂

      June 4, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • Common Sense Sam

      1-800-RAT-IONA(L)
      1-800-IRE-ASON
      1-800-THI-NKER

      June 4, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
  8. Dyslexic doG

    Atheist do not "lack" anything, just as a person who does not believe in the Tooth Fairy lacks anything. Instead of saying
    that atheists lack belief, it should instead be stated that non-atheists have belief in something that lacks evidence.

    Perhaps the correct phrase for religious folks should be "fact-less wish-thinkers".

    June 4, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • OldSchool

      Succinct and spot-on!

      June 4, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • Troglodytes Entertaining All

      Wrong... Atheists lack the ability to convince ourselves in the existence of talking snakes, pregnant virgins and a hateful, vengeful God... Religious people believe in those things simply because they WANT them to be true...

      June 4, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
  9. lionlylamb

    God was once alive but alas He is now long since dead and is no more. Genesis 6:3 says it all! Go look it up for yourself at http://www.blueletterbible.com

    June 4, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • Science

      BS on Adam and the bone. LL

      June 4, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      This is true, since of the 30 or so beings that the Christian-Judaic holy books call god, all were mortal men. Even the opening words of Genesis in Ugarit text betray this by explaining that the earth already existed when El built the garden at Eden. It also explains that he built it by hand by cutting down trees. And he and his wives were exiled from their original land where they fought a great naval battle and lost. The christian god is a blend of several folk heroes, pharoahs, and kings.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
  10. Dyslexic doG

    Leviticus 19:27
    Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.

    June 4, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • Skeptic Al

      Atheist 101:

      Do not read the whole book or try to understand the context of the verse.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • ron

      So much for right wing fanatics that go to church every Sunday and have a "high and tight" hair style.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • I Am God

      Skeptic AI I have read many quotes from the Bible and many are meant to be taken literally.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • Skeptic Al

      So you know about Leviticus? doG is silly for thinking that I should follow those priestly codes for purification, right?

      This is pretty basic understanding, but he doesn't seem to get it.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • Over 40,000 sects of Christianity

      sometimes read the book and, well, the results should be obvious just based on my moniker.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • Questioning Quin

      Oh, so it is a code for priests? So they sign up – and then follow the rules for the haircut?

      If they don't sign up – they don't have to have that haircut?

      Oh, I get it. It is a choice.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Yea!

      Over 40,000 sects of Christianity

      And just 1 Jesus Christ.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Al,
      1)You don't seem to be a skeptic or is that only about science?
      2)That quote is not taken out of context – it is part of a list of things your lord prohibits such as eating meat that is not kosher and not getting tattoos.
      3) You bible thumpers quote verses quite frequently and they are out of context.

      June 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
  11. Tim

    LOL. This is a joke right? Another attempt by neo-atheists to make themselves relevent. I have the same disdain for atheism as I do for fundamentalism. Both think they know everything and are arrogant as ^&$%. Both groups treat those who do not agree with them as lacking intelligence. IMO, they both need more gray matter.

    June 4, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • I Am God

      Neo-Atheists? We aren't Fascists, we aren't Nazis, and we aren't Communists or Socialists. We are just a group of people. Get a clue.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Straw man argument. Learn some facts about atheism.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • Chuckles

      I wrote it before and I'll write it again.

      You mistake atheists who are not afraid to point out the apparent error in a lot of religion as a sign of arrogance. It's the same old song and dance. I say I'm an atheist through years of research, soul searching (for lack of a better term) and visting different cultures and temples. You say, "prove it". I prove it by comparing and contrasting different religions, quoting contradictory lines from the bible, showing how many parts are impossible, etc.... you say, "you arrogant smart-as.s! quit it with all that book learnin'!"

      A lot of atheists that you think are "arrogant" are no more arrogant as you, just braver to actually state their thoughts on the matter rather than let a person remain in ignorance because they want to be polite.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • Common Sense Sam

      Atheists are just skeptics about religion? Did you have a point? Oh, yeah, you hate atheists. Not sure why you need to share that, but... here's a cookie.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • VoijaRisa

      This sums up this argument pretty well: http://xkcd.com/774/

      June 4, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • John

      I don't know who you're talking about... Average atheists (such as myself) don't claim to know ANYTHING about all these huge questions. Our stance is really that religion just doesn't make sense, and science seems to consistently provide better explanations. No one's trying to "convert" anyone, they just simply want to give an outlet to those who are questioning their faith, because so few really exist...

      June 4, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • Joey

      What exactly is wrong with having a number that people can call if they want? It's not like the atheists are going to be calling up random people to try and convince them to leave their religion.

      June 5, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  12. John Nichols

    I fully expect this or similar response: Mark 4:3, Luke 2:9, Leviticus 2:1, Matthew 6:5, Daniel 2:2.

    Amarantha!!!

    June 4, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
  13. GK

    “Most of the people who contact us are working their way towards disbelief, so of course we are very equipped to handle that,” Morehead said. “That is not the goal, though, or the job of the facilitators.” It's not the goal just like abortion isn't the goal of PP.

    June 4, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  14. Bootyfunk

    awesome!

    this is great. i remember how difficult it was for me at 15 to come out as an atheist. this will be a great support for young atheists that have no support in family/community. it lets them know they aren't alone.

    bravo!

    June 4, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      Wow
      I'm truly impressed. Coming out as an atheist at age 15.
      I went kicking and screaming into atheism. I was 40 when I came out to my family. Lots of research of other religions, lots of trying this / tasting that ... until one day I just knew it was all B S. I became a full human that day.
      I'm just sorry it took be 40 years. Not wasting my life now though
      ( OH YEA get along great with all my family members ... even the believers )

      June 4, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
  15. I don't really

    mind atheists when they aren't the condescending pack of bass terds that I see commenting here.
    Never seen such a gathering of slobbering wannabe scientists stampede into a comment board, as I see here.

    June 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • Athy

      What's a bass terd? A lousy bass player? Try bastard next time.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • .....

      ^^^^^^ Condescension

      June 4, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • well then

      You should really check out reddit if you want to see the worst the internet has to offer. But to their merit, there are plenty of other atheists and theists there to shut down the loudmouths.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • LinCA

      @I don't really

      You said, "mind atheists when they aren't the condescending pack of bass terds that I see commenting here."
      Lemme guess, you still believe in the Tooth fairy? Or is it the Easter Bunny?

      You are free to believe whatever bullshit you want. You are free to have all the imaginary friends you want. You are free to spend every Sunday groveling for your god. Stupidity, even to the extend that you suffer from, isn't illegal.

      If you come here and display your ignorance, you should expect to get called on it. If you can't handle your ignorance lampooned here, I suggest you keep it to yourself.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • stardust

      there is condescension on both sides. however, one side is not making any ridiculous claims about reality. guess which one...

      June 4, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • Common Sense Sam

      You've certainly represented yourself as a class act...

      June 4, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
  16. DoesItReallyMatter

    Does your conversion to atheism really matter after a 100 years?

    June 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      NO, but it matters today. And if you are really honest with yourself ... today is all you have

      June 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • stardust

      such a ridiculous question. but, actually, it probably will matter. in 100 years there will be more and more people embracing logic and reason instead of belief in supernatural nonsense that retards progress. but i see that happening regardless. unfortunately it is not happening faster.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
  17. Marivs_Marivs

    To Mark and all atheist parisioners: You people married God when you decided to deny him. The God Particle name implies that there is a main cause, an essential block for everything else, where every thing is based upon. Good choice.
    Ignorance? Let's see: I don't believe my car appeared from nowhere or at random. How can I believe that Universe did it? Simple reasoning.

    June 4, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Lou

      "Simple reasoning."

      That's what people used to determine that the earth was the center of the universe and that all the stars revolved around it – simple reasoning by a simpleton.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • Jeff

      You can't deny something that was never shown to be true in the first place. I didn't even know people believed in something called god until I was 16. I have no reason to deny something that isn't real.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • I Am God

      Seriously? Comparing a car to the reason how the universe was formed? We actually have ample enough theories and facts that the universe formed through a Big Bang, which began the creation of all life. There was no God involved.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • sybaris

      Creationism requires you to believe in the magic that some being somehow existed before the universe was created and then created it OUT OF NOTHING. How can you not see that your idea is leagues more outlandish than even your misrepresented idea of how science explains it?

      June 4, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Just a Guy

      You are willfully ignorant. So sad.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • Jinm P.

      Then were did your God come from? Is he or she not more complex than his or her creation, implying an even greater "creator" and so on?

      To say "god" has been there forever simply begs the question. The universe has been there forever also. No need to add an unnecessary layer of complexity that explains nothing and simply pushes the question further back.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Lou

      "I have the same disdain for atheism as I do for fundamentalism."

      So what?

      June 4, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • VoijaRisa

      You should probably learn what the God particle is all about and what it is before you go and make yourself look like an idiot trying to invoke it.

      Oops. Too late.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • OldSchool

      Actually, Peter Higgs – the guy that the Higgs boson particle is named after – doesn't like that people have started calling it the "god particle". He is, as one would imagine a brilliant physicist to be, an atheist.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • Quasi

      The Multiverse has always existed in some form, and it is in constant change and motion. Matter and energy cannot be destroyed or created. It just is, and it fluctuates.

      On the other hand, the God or the Gods were all created by humans because they did not understand enough science to understand what went on around them. The 1st Commandment. "Thou shall have no other Gods before me." is just a postulation of a deity, and then all else is derived from that, by humans. There is no evidence whatsoever to support that anything supernatural exists in this Multiverse.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • nick

      Just an FYI, there is no "god particle". There is however the "Higgs-Boson particle" which is named in part after Dr. Peter Higgs...an atheist, and he does not like the name "god particle" Thats the name the media gave it.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Boson

      Peter Higgs is actually offended that the the Higgs Boson (God Particle) was given that imaginative moniker. I actually heard it on a podcast this past weekend.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • Joey

      Simple Reasoning indeed.

      June 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  18. Jeff

    Everyone is born an atheist. Without being taught about religion, everyone would stay an atheist.

    June 4, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Even christians are atheists to a point...

      "I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
      ...Stephen F Roberts

      June 4, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
  19. Lou

    “Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply an admission of the obvious. In fact, "atheism" is a term that should not even exist. No one needs to identify himself as a "non-astrologer" or a "non-alchemist." We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.”

    -Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation (2006)

    June 4, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      great quote

      June 4, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  20. IpseCogita

    Organised Atheism annoys me. Not their basic belief, totally with them there, but they have become a religion. They have meetings, they have clergy, they rules, they exclude, they proselytize, they even have sacred texts and are getting more and more dogmatic.

    June 4, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • I Am God

      Sacred texts? Please post these so-called sacred texts?

      June 4, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • sybaris

      Hey, we're just jumping on the tax exempt bandwagon but at least our "offerings" don't go towards funding lavish lifestyles of clergy and housing them in impenetrable holy houses for them to molest children.

      June 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • IpseCogita

      @ I Am God – Anything written by James Randi, Michael Shermer, or Richard Dawkins for starters. Sure they are not truly thought of as "sacred" in the same sense or believed to be revealed from god, they are are discussed in the same details and with the same fervor as Christians discuss their bible or Muslims their Koran, and the penalty for disagreeing with anything in them is pretty much the same.

      I am sure you would not call them "sacred", but most of organized atheism reveres them pretty much exactly as religious folks revere their texts. Perhaps instead of "sacred" you would prefer to call it "wisdom literature" or something like that?

      Most interesting is that you didn't question any of the other things I said.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • I Am God

      IpseCogita I would like to see some proof of how Atheists revere books or such written by known Atheists?

      June 4, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
    • IpseCogita

      @sybaris – Have you looked at the lifestyles of the leaders of Organized Atheism? They are wealthy and beyond wealthy from the sacrifices of their followers, they are showered with money wherever they go. Sure they call it speaking fees instead of donations and are more honest about it going straight into their pockets and funding those impenetrable houses and lavish lifestyles.

      On your very last point I am sure you are right though, I rather doubt any of them are into that. I will point out that in some cases their treatment of women is no better than any religious leader.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • OldSchool

      @IpseCogita – that is an utterly absurd comparison regarding the "religious texts".

      June 4, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • VoijaRisa

      Those texts are "revered" because they make cogent arguments that stand up well to scrutiny. They make claims based on solid evidence. The same cannot be said for religious texts and as such, they are not comparable unless you also wish to argue that schools are "religious" because they use textbooks.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • IpseCogita

      @ I Am God – Have you been to gathering of atheists, participated in forum discussions on atheist boards? They quote from those leaders, they discuss their books in detail, and they shun anyone who questions even minor points. If it helps you understand my point I will withdraw likening them to sacred texts, but I stand by all the other points in my post.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • nick

      By "sacred texts" do you mean things like "evidence"?

      June 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • sybaris

      IpseCogita

      The difference is that the religious offerings contribute to the greatest ponzi scheme ever conceived.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • IpseCogita

      OK, they are not sacred texts. Interesting though that no one questions any of the other points.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Common Sense Sam

      ... said the religious nut who despises the idea that Atheists might actually organize to support one another instead of allowing religion to shi* on them for another two thousand years.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Evolution is hardly dogmatic. There is an abundance of evidence for it. Science would throw it out in a heartbeat if it were proven false.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @IpseCogita

      False equivalency. First, you are lumping all "atheists" as anyone who believes in the works of the authors you listed above, which you know to be false. You use terms like "sacred" "revere" and "wisdom literature" as a way to draw ties between the two works even though it clearly isn't the case.

      The authors and books you mention are part of a different type of atheism, a bolder sort that for the first time is directly challenging religion, however these works are no more revered than the works of charles darwin or isaac newton. You will also find the same zealousness between two scientists when it comes to different theories on the origin of the universe, or evolution or any other scientific theory, these books however are thrust into the more public domain because they challenge the beliefs of mainstream America.

      There is no "exclusion" in atheism to the degree that if you truely agree that god or gods most likely do not exist, then you are an atheist (or rather an agnostic atheist, like 90+% of us). There are no rules, there are no clergy and there is no prosletyzation (which includes accosting folks to become atheists, giving out free copies of atheists texts, inviting or encouraging folks to come to atheist "services").

      The militant atheist is what you have a problem with and for the most part you'll find most atheists agree with you, but even then it doesn't even come close to even the most secular parts of the religious counterparts. I'll reiterate, your post is false equivalency

      June 4, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • IpseCogita

      @Sam – Nope, I am atheist – I like to use the term ignostic apatheist because I think it sounds cool though. What I dislike is the dogma, the preachiness, the reverence to leaders, the exclusion. I believe the same as you likely do, but I think your gatherings are absurd.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • IpseCogita

      @Chuckles – Not even close, you are outright lying in your reply. I never at any point said "all atheists", nor obviously would I lump all atheists together since I am separating myself from some other atheists. I specifically stated "organized atheism", the kind of people that gather together to share their atheism and talk about how unenlightened everyone else is just like Baptists do. Organized Atheism is a small minority of the actual atheists in the world, and it is only that small minority to whom I refer.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • IpseCogita

      @Chuckles – I will ad that for that small minority the equivalence is not false at all. I hear many of them talk about James Randi or RIchard Dawkins with the same reverence and almost worship that some of the religious nutters use toward their televangelist types.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • stardust

      oh you silly troll!! people always fall for it...

      June 4, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • Theamologist

      Who else is going to organize and establish human rights for the children of this world, including the right to protection from coerced belief? The Christians? The Muslims? Who is going to fix this world except for the atheists? I am listening.

      June 4, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
    • Common Sense Sam

      @IpseCogita. I'm glad you've found something to call yourself that makes you feel cool. It's always fun to feel cool. I've never been to a "gathering" but like most gatherings of ANYTHING, I'm sure there's plenty of circle-jerk-ness about it. My advice for you to not be annoyed so much is... don't go to the gatherings.

      June 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      OK IpseCogita, I'll bite.

      What are the so-called 'organized atheists' dogmatic about?

      If you are talking about the likes of David Silverman and the direction he is taking American Atheists then stop giving him money.

      June 4, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.